Whether you think it’s for better or for worse, smartphones have undoubtedly changed the world. People now access information at the touch of a screen and everything you need to know about a product or brand is obtainable in just a few moments. Consumers no longer need a desktop computer to explore their website, as over 60% of visits to U.S. websites in 2020 came from mobile devices.
If your company has a website but is looking to create a more user-friendly mobile experience, you can convert your site into an Android or iOS app. Apps allow you to create custom UI/UX designs that bring a mobile-optimized interface to your customer base. This is particularly beneficial if your website isn’t responsive on phones or tablets, as you can create an app that mobile users can easily interact with and appreciate without having to tinker with your website’s desktop display.
In this post, we’ll explain how you can convert your company’s website into an engaging mobile app.
How to Convert a Website into Mobile App
Step 1 : Determine if you need a mobile app
However, not every website needs the use of a mobile app. You may not need an app to improve your consumer experience if your website is already responsive and works effectively on mobile. In such a situation, developing a mobile app may be an extra effort that isn’t worth it if more users prefer your website to your mobile app.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if a mobile app makes sense for your business. The more “no’s” you have, the more likely it is your company would benefit from having a mobile app.
- Can I easily make my website mobile-friendly?
- Is my website mobile responsive?
- Do my competitors offer a mobile app?
- Are most customers visiting my site on a desktop browser?
- Can my website do everything that my app does?
- Does my website rank well on search engines?
Step 2 : Create a list of required features for your app.
Before you dive headfirst into app development, it’s important to consider what features you’ll include on your mobile app. Not only does this give you an idea of what you’ll need to build, but it will help you calculate costs and stay within budget.
After all, it’s easy to get carried away thinking about all the possible functions your app can perform. However, by coming up with a vetted list of features, you’ll create an attainable vision for your app and ensure every one of its features is useful to your target audience — rather than just being a flashy extra.
Step 3 : Hire a development team.
To develop a high-quality app, you’ll need to work with a qualified and experienced development team. These days, there are two options: hire an in-house team or cooperate with a reliable vendor.
Both variants have pros and cons. For example, an in-house team tends to be more expensive. You’ll need to pay for things like rent, hardware, software, taxes, vacations, and more. However, in-house development allows you to control the development process completely and create an app that’s tailored to your exact specifications.
Step 4 : Estimate app development costs.
Once you have your feature list and development team ready to go, it’s time to start crunching numbers. A good rule of thumb is, the more complex your app is, the more expensive it’s going to be to develop.
There are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about mobile app development costs. The number of features you want to add, how long it will take to develop the app, who you’re working with, etc. All of these elements are in play when it comes to pricing and you should think about them before building your app. If you find yourself over budget, a good place to start is by revisiting your feature list to see which features are essential and which ones you can wait until later to add.
Step 5 : Create a user-friendly UX design.
Aside from the basic functionality of your app, your UX design is the most important factor to prioritize when building your interface. After all, what’s the point of developing a mobile app if it’s not as responsive as your website?
If you can’t make your mobile app as mobile-friendly as your website, you might consider investing more in the design of your website rather than creating a new app.
Step 6 : Test your app.
Like with any landing page, social media post, or email campaign, you should test your app before submitting it to the app store. This will allow you to fine-tune your app’s features and fix any glitches or flaws before your users discover them.
Not only will this help you retain users who might have deleted your app after experiencing these issues, but it will also save your support team time from having to respond to customers who are having problems with your mobile app. Even if you can’t fix all of the flaws before pushing it live, at least you’ll be aware of potential issues and can prepare your service team before they’re exposed to these types of inquiries.
Step 7 : Submit your app to the App Store.
Once your app is ready to go, the final step is to submit it to the App Store. Both Android’s App Store and Apple’s App Store take about the same amount of time to review your submission — each taking about three days total to approve your app. After your app is approved, it should be available for download in the respective app store.